Nearly a week after Braxton Brewing’s VIVE Hard Seltzer brand was named the “official hard seltzer” of the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals, the Kentucky craft brewery today announced the launch of a co-branded “Tailgate Variety Pack.”
As part of the sponsorship, VIVE is allowed to use the Bengals’ logos, official marks and stadium imagery, Braxton co-founder and CEO Jake Rouse told Brewbound in an email. However, the team’s players won’t be included as part of the campaign.
The Bengals’ signature “B” logo will be emblazoned on the limited-edition 12-packs, which contain four new flavors — Cherry, Peach, Black Raspberry and Blood Orange — in 12 oz. slim cans. Cans of Blood Orange will also feature a tiger stripe design. The variety pack will be available in Kroger grocery stores and other retailers in Northern Kentucky and the Greater Cincinnati Area by the end of the month.
During Bengals home games at Paul Brown Stadium this season, VIVE’s Mango and Blood Orange offerings will be sold in dedicated areas, Rouse said. In addition to VIVE products, 16 oz. cans of Braxton’s Garage Beer lager will also be sold inside the stadium.
According to Rouse, the sponsorship will help to raise awareness of the VIVE brand, with the variety pack providing new selling opportunities and distribution placements.
“It will introduce our brand to football fans who may not already be aware that VIVE Hard Seltzer is a locally crafted hard seltzer,” he said. “Household penetration for hard seltzer still remains low, even with the booming category growth. We aim to change that.”
Earlier this year, Braxton and VIVE were named the official craft beer and hard seltzer of Major League Soccer’s FC Cincinnati for 2019 and 2020 seasons. In last week’s “Co-Founder’s” weekly email, Rouse wrote that he was “ecstatic” about the FC Cincinnati partnership, but his lifelong love of football made the NFL partnership special.
“[O]f all the partnerships that we have formed since the inception of this brewery, none has presented me with more genuine excitement than this week’s announcement that Vive has been named Official Hard Seltzer of the Cincinnati Bengals,” he wrote. “This relationship provides numerous opportunities for us on the VIVE front, AND the beer front, and we couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity.”
Partnering with the Bengals will make VIVE available to 50,000 Cincinnati football fans 10 times a year, Rouse added.
“Things move fast around here,” he wrote. “With each passing day, more and more opportunities present themselves to us for consideration. This one was a no brainer.”
Since launching in March, Rouse said VIVE is now the fifth fastest selling seltzer SKU in the Greater Cincinnati Area. The hard seltzer segment, led by White Claw and Boston Beer Company’s Truly Hard Seltzer, is on track to be a $1 billion industry by the end of the year, according to Nielsen.